Jesus, like Peter I want to follow you anywhere, even unto death. I want to pray with you in the garden of Gethsemane and hold you while you cry out to God, and guard you while you worship, and sing praises with you in trial. But, I fall asleep. I run away naked. I deny you. I weep and mourn and anguish. You said it yourself,
“The spirit is willing but the body is weak.”
I’m daily assailed by the torment of the world, but you are faithful, Jesus. You overcame the weakness of your body even unto death. And because of you, because of what you did on the cross, and because you left the tomb behind you, I am free. You had victory over sin and death. And that means you have defeated the very things that hold me hostage.
I refuse to continue to look at the past. I refuse to hate myself for falling short of your glory. I refuse to think differently of myself than you see me. I refuse to fall asleep or runaway naked. Because you are God, and your Spirit is in me. It empowers me to act in accordance with your Spirit instead of in my flesh. The spirit is willing. My body is weak. So I want to look to your example. You showed me what obedience in the Spirit looks like.
In Gethsemane you prayed. Even though your friends fell asleep, you prayed. You cried out to God. Even though you were alone. You worshiped Him. You sought Him with your whole heart and your whole mind. You sweat drops of blood, your anguish was so intense! You agonized over the road of suffering that awaited you on your journey to the cross. But you took it anyway. It wasn’t what you wanted in your body, you didn’t want pain and suffering and humiliation. But you wanted victory. And you knew God’s will for you and for me was victory. You knew that God’s will was better than your flesh. You knew that your flesh would be remade. You knew that your victory, though it would come at a hefty price in your flesh, would bring life forever to us all.
So you walked out of Gethsemane. You willingly took the road of suffering. The road of blood. The road of pain and scorn.
You took the cross.
Lord, help me walk out of the garden. As you walk with me on the road of suffering, bring people around me to offer me a drink, to help carry my cross, to stand at my side, amidst their own pain, to be with me and show me love, as you love me. And Lord, let me do the same for others.
“12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14